Dare alla Luce by Mandy Greer
- Year of creation
- Mixed yarn, feathers, fabric and ornaments.
More info: mandygreer.com
With this installation, the viewer passes through and under a forest canopy of earthly paradise of 8 green chandelier-like forms made up of a 1000+ yards of crocheted/beaded/braided/ stitched vines, branches and leaves. Through this lush ooze of greenery, dripping with overabundant beaded fruitings, the viewer enters the celestial realm, the night sky represented by a large black pelican, spread wings, perched above on a black glittering branch extending off the wall out of a grotto of obsidian. The gnarled bird wears an elaborate headdress and gown spreading behind her 15 feet; an accumulation of sewn feathers, dyed, twisted tendril masses of black shredded crocheted fabrics, yarns and beads. The end of the gown touching the ground is tattered, filthy but exposes glittering white fabric lilies. Flowing from the pouch of the pelican’s mouth, a galaxy of crocheted, beaded milk spills onto the floor. Mixed in with this white current are stars of silver glass, rhinestones, sequins, quartz, beads, that begin to rise off the floor, hoisted like little chandeliers. This night goddess looks across to a whitish moon orb emerging from the wall like a pregnant belly, covered in a skin of beaded craters of pearls, shells and white and grey beads. The seed of all this was my discovery of Jacopo Tintoretto’s painting The Origin of the Milky Way just as I began the ardent journey of nursing my own Herculean-sized infant. In the painting we see Jupiter holding his illegitimate child, the baby Hercules to the breast of sleeping Juno, his wife, so that the child may become immortal by drinking the goddess’s breast milk. Juno awakes, pushes away the child and her milk sprays across the sky to create the Milky Way. The legend continues that the milk that fell to earth became the whitened lily. Here was ancient mythology of the origin of celestial phenomena, but also described the truest intimate experience of my life. The drama of the gods became wrapped around the most haptic and experiential knowledge of my own body, a body awash in its own fleshly corporeal and visceral nature, under the influence of the same forces of nature that move the planets. In this work I want to explore this paradox of each life being inimitable yet we all in someway fit into an archetype, legend or mythology. Arguably every ancient culture has used the celestial dominion as text to record human concerns. The microcosm of the tiniest of private human experiences slides into the macrocosm of these largest of stories written across the sky by our ancestors. My title, Dare alla Luce, in Italian means ‘to give birth’, but literally translates “to give to the light”, as if each new life was a tiny star given to the heavens. I’m not so much interested in ruminating upon giving birth, but upon the experience we all share, of being born, of entering the Light and the flux of time and the stories we have told for all of human history."